Reallusion now has a release date for their excellent 2D animation software CrazyTalk Animator. Thankfully there’s no mention of a total UI makeover, and the new features do look rather nice. I’m mostly interested in this software not for animation, but for its potential in rapid 2D comics production.
The re-named Cartoon Animator 4 will be released in April 2019 with…
* Smart IK for character joints.
* a “360 Head Creator”, aka “3D Head Creator”.
* Live performance capture (webcam head/facial mocap for 2D toons).
* Real-time lip-sync, for voice actors -> characters.
Of these, the 3D-ish “360 Head Creator” seems most interesting for static comics production, in terms of differentiating it from what you could do natively in Photoshop…
“Quickly Transform a 2D Face into a 3D Head. 3D Head Creator transforms 2D art into 3D styled characters with up to 360 degree of motion for deeply rich performances. Photoshop round-trip integration for editing multi-angle character in and out of 3D Head Creator.”
So, there’s no 3D object mesh generation from flat 2D ‘line-art and colours’ assets, which would be a theoretical marvel of technology that probably needs AI assistance. If it could be done at all.
Instead it looks more like a pseudo 2.5D, or a bit like what the isometric RPG game-makers do when they use a script to quickly output a series of 2D turn-table renders for subsequent game animation of sprites.
Along with the new feature will come…
“360 animation controls and timeline editing” and “New generation of 360 creative assets”.
It’ll be interesting to see video of it in operation, and discover how laborious the set-up is and how much is automated with a few clicks. And how easily Poser’s Comic Book Preview mode might produce the 2.5D character views needed.
For now, take a look at the new page which explains it all and has screenshots and details.